Chief justice wants to reform state's jury duty system

LANSING (AP) - The outgoing chief justice of Michigan's Supreme Court is pushing to move the state's jury duty system to one that eases wait times.

Michigan's jury process is "extraordinarily stupid," as people often get called for jury duty only to sit around in a courthouse before being sent home, Chief Justice Robert Young Jr. told the Detroit Free Press.

Young said jury duty is an important obligation for U.S. citizens and that the court shouldn't burden them by wasting their time.

"This is all about our efforts to become more service-focused," he added.

Under Young's proposal, prospective jurors would have appointments with the court and could be notified on their smartphones about when they are and are not needed.

He cited management of the juror-selection process as an example of how technology can help make the courts more efficient and user-friendly, while in many cases, saving a significant amount of money.

The challenge of the project would be funding, since Michigan courts are individually funded through 165 local funding units, said Young.

Young's term as the court's chief justice is set to end in early January, although he'll remain on the seven-member bench.

Published: Thu, Dec 29, 2016